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Week in Review – Jan 14th, 2024

The Week in Review is a collection of both all the goodness I’ve written during the past week around the internet, as well as a small pile of links I found interesting – generally endurance sports related. I’ve often wondered what to do with all of the coolness that people write, and while I share a lot of it on Twitter/X and Facebook, this is a better forum for sending it on to y’all. Most times these different streams don’t overlap, so be on the lookout at all these places for good stuff!

So with that, let’s get into the action!

DCR Posts In the Past Week:

Here’s all the latest on the site:

Monday: Garmin HRM-FIT In-Depth Review: Best Women’s Heart Rate Monitor?
Monday: Garmin Lily 2 In-Depth Review
Tuesday: Polar Announces Deep Platform Integration With New Sennheiser Earbuds
Wednesday: Apple Watch Ultra 2 vs Garmin Epix Pro: The NYC Test Gauntlet
Thursday: Garmin Connect App Revamp: Complete Walk-Through
Friday: Garmin’s 2024 Q1 Wearables Beta Update: Huge New Features!

Phew…a busy week!

YouTube Videos This Past Week:

Here’s what hit the tubes over on the You of Tube, definitely don’t forget to subscribe there to get notified of videos the second they hit!

Stuff I Found Interesting Around The Interwebs:

Here’s a not-so-small smattering of all the random things that I stumbled on while doing my civic duty to find the end of the Internet:

1) Fitbit’s original founders leave Google, also Google layoffs: Having original Fitbit co-founder and former CEO James Park leave Google isn’t really that big of a surprise, this is pretty common in corporate acquisitions after a few years. What exactly happens to Fitbit models/brands from here is probably the bigger question. I don’t think it’s going anywhere anytime soon, as we saw with the company’s latest models this past fall, there’s been significant attention paid to Googling them, notably the Charge 6. Concurrently, I don’t think they’ll keep the entire lineup long-term. It wouldn’t surprise me to see it ultimately just be Fitbit Charge & Google Pixel watch.

2) Peloton announces corporate Peloton Bike rental program: Previously consumers have been able to rent Peloton Bikes, and there’s been various corporate programs, but now this lets companies also rent bikes too.

3) Engineers put camera below hockey rink: This is interesting, albeit, I think the actual video about how they did it was probably more interesting than the results. But…I could see if you had a few of these around the ice (especially close to the nets), the chance of catching something epic would significantly increase.

4) Amazfit announces a smart ring: As with every CES, more companies announce smart rings. Whether or not any of them will be successful takes a few years. As regular readers know, I’m not a big ring person, albeit still wearing the Oura ring I bought, merely to keep on top of what they’re doing (given they seem to still be the leaders in the smart ring space). Amazfit has a strong history of offering lots of devices at reasonable price points, but they have an equally strong history of not updating these devices after a couple months (the complete opposite of Oura).

5) Here’s a few more smart rings that announced at CES: Just in case you needed more options for all those fingers.

6) Behind the Scenes on filming first U2 concert in Sphere with FPV drones: This is super cool. The team behind this is some of the best in the business, albeit this relatively low-profile behind-the-scenes YouTube channel doesn’t often get much traction. Definitely worth the quick watch:

7) Decathlon launches new Zwift-compatible indoor smart bike: Decathlon has announced the new Domyos Challenge 1500w, which is priced at 1,299EUR, and includes support for Zwift and other 3rd party apps. Additionally, there’s the sorta newish VanRysel D500 smart trainer, which at $499 is priced to compete against things like the Zwift Hub, KICKR CORE, and Elite Direto XR. I’ve been chatting with Decathlon about getting both into the DCR Cave, so should have initial feedback on them shortly.

Thanks for reading!

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8 Comments

  1. Arno Smit

    Interesting move of decathlon!

  2. Pavel Vishniakov

    I’m really curious about the Decathlon bike. Despite owning a Tacx Neo 2, I would consider upgrading to it if the performance is on par with the existing trainers, especially if the bike supports LAN connection to Zwift.

    • Thomas

      Yeah, I am quite curious what they can pull-off at that price point.
      I obviously does not need to match the high end specs of the other (much pricier) smart bikes, but it has to nail the basics. Then it would really be a game changer in the smart bike market.

      Let’s see… but Decathlon is definitely getting more serious in cycling, also considering them being the AG2R bike sponsor…

  3. I am looking forward to the Decathlon indoor bike review.
    With their team sponsorship and high-end road bikes coming out, they are really taking on the other companies, without the same price tag.

  4. Goncalo

    Curious to know your thoughts on the Decathlon bike!

  5. JJS

    Interesting move of Amazfit. I am wondering for a long time why Suunto and Oura don’t build a “Finland Connection”!?! It would be a perfect solution for people like me that can’t stand wearing a watch at night. To have the data of a ring and a watch in the same App would close a big gap!

  6. fiatlux

    That Domyos smart bike is intriguing. It seems to be on display at my local Decathlon store so I’ll pass by and have a look at it (and perhaps order it?).

    I know that there are plenty of semi-smart bikes that may not really deliver a fully satisfying experience so what would be important to check/ask regarding this bike (which seems to be a too good deal to be true)?

    • Fiatlux

      I went to my local Décathlon and they indeed had the smart bike on display. It looks solid and functional even if a bit rough around the edges and not particularly stylish.
      The seller assured me that resistance was electronically controlled and fully compatible with Zwift and the likes.
      There is a built-in tablet holder but you can also use it without software, there is a little display to connect to a heart rate sensor and a rotating encoder to control resistance manually.
      Now, for the bad news. The bike is only on display in 2 stores in Belgium, but not available anywhere for sale, not even online. Availability is foreseen for… end of March! I hope they are going to get them sooner because that’s pretty late compared to the typical indoor trainer season…